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This is my 4th batch (I'm new), but first Belgian ale. Kit from here: http://www.midwestsupplies.com/flat-tire.html

I also did another batch at the same time (different kit) and it seems fine and all my batches up to this point have been ok. It's been 7 days and I transfered it to a secondary fermenter (cause it says it has heavy sediment and trying to clear some of that out).

Anyways it smells like someone took a crap in a dirty gym sock and dropped that into my beer :( That indicates it has spoiled right? Is there any way I can recover this or do I just throw the entire thing out? Seems such a waste to dump the entire thing out.

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Have you tasted it yet. Different yeasts give off different aromas and it does not necessarily indicate contamination. What yeast do they provide with that kit? Because despite being from the New Belgium brewery, Fat tire is not a belgian pale ale. Its an american amber, brewed with american ale yeast. –  brewchez Feb 18 '11 at 18:29
    
Are you familiar with Belgian beers and yeasts? Some of them can have a decidedly funky aroma, especially while fermenting. If you're not used to it, you might think it was an infection. Tell us what yeast you used and what temp you're fermenting at. That will provide some clues as to this being normal or not. And please give us a better description of the aroma, since I can't really relate to what you described. –  Denny Conn Feb 18 '11 at 19:36
    
Yeast is Nottingham Dry Yeast: danstaryeast.com/products/nottingham-ale-yeast –  user697111 Feb 22 '11 at 0:59

2 Answers 2

Knowing now that you used Nottingham yeast, it sounds contaminated to me. But as others have suggested I normally would let it ferment out to finish and then taste it. You could even test bottle a couple let them carb up while the rest sits in a secondary container.

Yeast fermentation can put out a lot of weird aromas, so its best to not jump the gun until things are done. Your palette and the taste test are your best tools.

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Which yeast did you use?

That certainly sounds like some sort of souring organisms (bacteria, wild yeast) have gotten in there.

You may be able to prevent future problems with a more rigorous cleaning & sanitation regimen, but you might also want to replace your plastic equipment that touches your beer/wort post-boil.

i'm lazy and an optimist, so if it were me, i'd probably let it sit for a couple of months and see if the foulness diminished & it tastes any good. But i also like sour beers (and have enough fermentors to lose one for a while).

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Downvoted for the recommendation to dump it. While I'm not in the "never dump any beer" camp (I've dumped a couple), I wouldn't condone someone starting out to dump it so early. Instead, I recommend riding it out for a while, it may come around. If not, then dump it. But don't dump it when it's 7 days old. –  JackSmith Feb 18 '11 at 18:35
    
removed that, since i also admitted that i wouldn't dump it. –  baka Feb 18 '11 at 18:56
    
un-downvoted, then –  JackSmith Feb 18 '11 at 19:37

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